Ways of Occupying

11 February 2020

Ways of Occupying

Part two — Tiago Guedes


From March to July 2020, our programme will continue to focus on the different ways of occupying that the artists bring to our city through their artistic discourses and social and political stances. We’ll be able to discover performances at Rivoli and Campo Alegre that are true “magnifying glasses on the world”—that of today, but also bygone times and the historical legacy left behind.

ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER returns to Rivoli, revisiting one of her most iconic pieces, Achterland, from 1990. In that seminal choreography, she places the musicians on the centre of the stage for the first time, assigning György Ligeti’s score a performer status. Dance and music are taken in consideration on equal terms, which has been a hallmark of this great choreographer.

TEATRO EXPERIMENTAL DO PORTO (TEP) will present Estro / Watts, a play-concert designed in partnership with Paulo Furtado, The Legendary Tigerman. It will attempt to understand the role word plays in music, which is a word loaded with meanings and used to convey political messages. Is it still possible to pass on ideas and ideologies through music? What role do lyrics play today, when in general one only listens to the melody?

Cross-disciplinary Swiss artist MARTIN ZIMMERMANN makes his debut at Teatro Municipal do Porto with his latest creation, Eins Zwei Drei, featuring Portuguese dancer Romeu Runa. Making use of new circus, dance, music and theatre, Zimmermann explores the tensions of three characters is an increasingly sanitised world co-opted by rigorous social protocols and codes. Through the clown, we shall watch a piece that explores the limits of the body and the tension with what is established, contempt, human relations and the battle for power.

Continuing our dance heritage programme, we’ll present two iconic pieces by MERCE CUNNINGHAM performed by the CCN – BALLET DE LORRAINE. Celebrating his hundredth birthday, we’ll have the chance to watch new stagings of two of Cunningham’s
most significant pieces: Sounddance and RainForest (the latter with a set by Andy Warhol).

In close partnership with Teatro Nacional São João, we shall kick off the co-presentation programme União de Facto [Consensual Union]. It will enable us to bring the great drama and dance creators around the world to Porto, crossing the audiences of these two institutions, and optimising resources. We start this partnership with the German director of the Berlin Volksbühne until 2015, FRANK CASTORF, who is considered to be one of the greatest theatre directors today. His latest creation, Bajazet, En considérant “Le Théâtre et la Peste” [Bajazet, Considering “The Theatre and the Plague”], explores the universes of Racine and Artaud with an entirely French cast. It will certainly be a pleasure to discover his radical theatre and to watch Jeanne Balibar on stage. This play is accompanied by a conference included in the Ways of Occupying programme (coordinated by journalist Pedro Santos Guerreiro), enabling us to learn about the universe of this theatre director in depth.

The second part of the season at Teatro Municipal do Porto is always marked by the city’s festivals DDD – Festival Dias da Dança and FITEI – International Theatre Festival of Iberian Expression. They take over not only the spaces belonging to the municipality, but also a large part of the performing spaces in Porto, Matosinhos and Gaia. The DDD+FITEI partnership is here to stay, and during the three and a half weeks dedicated to dance and theatre, between April 18 and May 10, we’ll have the chance to watch the most relevant productions in the field of the performing arts from Portugal and from all over the world.

To bring the season to an end, we’ll occupy the D. João I square, used as Rivoli’s yard, with an unusual project that calls upon the city’s population to jointly build one of Porto’s iconic buildings. It will be the first time we occupy this square, which from this year on will accommodate Teatro Municipal do Porto every July, enabling everyone to participate in projects that will wrap up our season in a shared fashion.

Our proposal for these months is to occupy together, to build in a thoughtful way, and to learn about the world through the magnifying glass of the artists.

We are counting on all of you!